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Earth’s Changing Surface

Highlights From Issue 9 (December 2008) EREBUSCRATERAERIAL. Photo courtesy of Christopher Dean, U.S, Antarctic Program, National Science Foundation.


Table of Contents Earth’s Changing Surface, Issue 9 (Dec. 2008) Science Content Knowledge

The Forces that Change the Face of Earth

By Jessica Fries-Gaither

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Literacy Content Knowledge

Getting Students Engaged in Nonfiction Text

By Tracey Allen and Clarissa Reeson

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Feature Story

The Heart of Erebus

By Stephen Whitt

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Misconceptions

Common Misconceptions about Weathering, Erosion, Volcanoes, and Earthquakes

By Jessica Fries-Gaither

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Across the Curriculum: Lessons and Activities

Developing Map Skills Through Earth Science Activities

By Jessica Fries-Gaither

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Science & Literacy: Lessons and Activities

Hands-On Science and Literacy Activities about Erosion, Volcanoes, and Earthquakes

By Jessica Fries-Gaither

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Off the Bookshelf

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Our Changing Earth: Virtual Bookshelf

By Kate Hastings

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Science Content Knowledge The Forces that Change the Face of Earth By Jessica Fries-Gaither Despite our tendency to consider Earth as static, it is actually a dynamic and everchanging planet. Wind, water, and ice erode and shape the land. Volcanic activity and earthquakes alter the landscape in a dramatic and often violent manner. And on a much longer timescale, the movement of earth's plates slowly reconfigures oceans and continents. Each one of these processes plays a role in the Arctic and Antarctica. We’ll discuss each in general and specifically in the polar regions. EROSION Wind, water, and ice are the three agents of erosion, or the carrying away of rock, sediment, and soil. Erosion is distinguished from weathering -- the physical or chemical breakdown of the minerals in rock. However, weathering and erosion can happen simultaneously. Erosion is a natural process, though it is often increased by humans' use of the land. Deforestation, overgrazing, construction, and road building often expose soil

and sediments and lead to increased erosion. Excessive erosion leads to loss of soil, ecosystem damage, and a buildup of sediments in water sources. Building terraces and planting trees can help reduce erosion. GLACIERS In the Arctic and sub-Arctic, glacial erosion has shaped much of the landscape. Glaciers primarily erode through plucking and abrasion. Plucking occurs as a glacier flows over bedrock, softening and lifting blocks of rock that are brought into the ice. The intense pressure at the base of the glacier causes some of the ice to melt, forming a thin layer of subglacial water. This water flows into cracks in the bedrock. As the water refreezes, the ice acts as a lever loosening the rock by lifting it. The fractured rock is thus incorporated into the glacier's load and is carried along as the glacier slowly moves. Abrasion happens when the glacier's ice and rock fragments act as sandpaper, crushing the rock into finely grained rock flour and smoothing the rock below. Meltwater streams of many glaciers are grayish in

Despite our tendency to consider Earth as static, it is actually a dynamic and ever-changing planet.

color due to high amounts of rock flour.

Glacial erosion is evident through the U-shaped valleys and fjords that are located throughout the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions. Glacial moraines are formed as a glacier recedes, leaving behind large piles of rock, gravel, and even boulders. Moraines may form at the foot (terminal moraine) or sides (lateral moraine) of the glacier or in the middle of two merging glaciers (medial moraine).

Glacier Illustration. Photo courtesy of Luis Maria Benitez, Wikimedia Commons.

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Science Content Knowledge Coastal erosion has become a major issue in recent years in the Arctic, with Alaska's North Slope losing as much as 30 meters (100 feet) per year! Climate change is thought to be the underlying cause. As the climate warms and sea ice melts, more of the sun's energy is absorbed by ocean water. As this heat is transferred to the land, the permafrost (frozen soil) thaws, making the coast vulnerable to erosion from wave action and storms (which are more frequent due to warmer temperatures and open water). A video from the University of Colorado Boulder and the U.S. Geological Survey shows time-lapse images during one month of crumbling (http:// dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/ 2008/09/25/video-alaskaseroding-arctic-coast/). WIND In Antarctica, katabatic winds play a large role in erosion. This

Tectonic plates movement. Illustration courtesy of USGS, Wikimedia Commons.

type of wind occurs when highdensity cold air builds up at high elevations (on the ice sheets, for example) and moves downhill under the force of gravity. Katabatic winds in Antarctica and Greenland are intensely cold and fast, often reaching hurricane speed. You can hear these fierce winds in this YouTube video: http://

www.youtube.com/watch? v=4YHNNqaIyxM. The winds in Antarctica carry small grains of sand that scour and erode the exposed rocks, resulting in unusual shapes and formations. These oddly shaped, eroded rocks are called ventrifacts. PLATE TECTONICS The theory of plate tectonics describes the motions of earth's lithosphere, or outermost layer of hard, solid rock, over geologic time. Plate tectonics provides scientists with a great deal of information about the polar region’s past. Earth’s lithosphere is broken into seven major and many minor tectonic plates. These plates move in relation to each other, slowly changing the location of earth's continents and oceans.

Katabatic Winds. Photo courtesy of Hannes Grobe and Alfred Wegner Wikimedia Commons.

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Science Content Knowledge Geological evidence from Antarctica supports the theory that North America and Antarctica were connected approximately one billion years ago in the global supercontinent Rodinia. The continents eventually broke apart, merging again approximately 200 million years ago in the supercontinent Pangaea. Fossil evidence from this time period confirms that Antarctica was connected to Australia and South America and much warmer than it is today. The movement of the tectonic plates also means that they are associated with much of the world's volcanic and seismic activity. VOLCANOES A volcano is simply an area where magma, or molten rock, from the earth's mantle reaches the earth's surface, becoming lava. Most volcanoes occur at plate boundaries, where two plates are moving away (diverging) or together (converging). A few volcanoes like the Hawaiian Islands form from a hot spot, or a weak spot in earth's crust, where magma forces its way to the surface. Volcanic eruptions may be explosive (violent) or effusive (passive), depending on the lava chemistry (amounts of silica and dissolved gases). Silica is a mineral found in nature as sand

or quartz. High levels of silica mean very viscous (thick) lava, and low levels mean more fluid lava. Dissolved gases build up inside the volcano, much like a can of soda or other carbonated beverage. The higher the level of gas, the more pressure that builds – and the more violent an explosion. The combination of silica and dissolved gas levels determines the type of eruption and shape of the volcano.

Shield Volcano

Volcanoes are classified into four types, based on their lava chemistry and shape. • Shield Volcano: A shield volcano has low levels of dissolved gas and silica in its magma. Its eruptions are effusive, and the very fluid lava moves quickly away from the vent, forming a gently sloping volcano. Mauna Loa in Hawaii is an example. • Cinder Cone Volcano: A cinder cone volcano has low silica levels and high levels of dissolved gas, resulting in fluid lava that erupts explosively as a result of the immense pressure built in the magma chamber. A cinder cone volcano erupts by shooting fountains of fiery lava high in From top to bottom: Shield Volcano, Cinder Cone Volcano, Lava Dome Volcano, Composite Volcano. Photos courtesy of USGS, Wikimedia Commons.

Cinder Cone Volcano

Lava Dome Volcano

Composite Volcano

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Science Content Knowledge the air, which cools and forms a steep-sided conical structure. Lava Butte in Oregon is an example. • Lava Dome Volcano: A lava dome volcano has high silica levels and low dissolved gases in its magma. This results in effusive, viscous lava that forms a rounded, steep-sided mound. Lava domes are often created after an explosive eruption, which released much of the dissolved gas in the magma. The lava slowly continues to flow out of the volcano, forming a rounded, steep-sided mound. Since the 1981 eruption of Mt. St. Helens, a lava dome has been forming inside the crater of the volcano. • Composite Volcano: A composite volcano has high levels of dissolved gas and Volcano Koryakskiy. Photo courtesy of n0_mad, Flickr.

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silica and erupts explosively. Composite volcanoes often resemble steep-sided mountains before erupting. During violent eruptions, it can seem as if the whole top of the mountain has been blown off. Eruptions often include pyroclastic material (ash and lava fragments), leaving the volcano to collapse inward and form a crater. Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier in Washington are examples. Even though the hot magma and lava of volcanoes and the ice of the polar regions seem incompatible, there's quite a bit volcanic activity in the Arctic and Antarctica. Far below the icecovered surface of the Arctic Ocean lies the Gakkel Ridge, part of the mid-ocean ridge system that runs across most of the globe. The mid-ocean ridge marks the boundary between two tectonic plates. As these plates separate, magma rises

from Earth's mantle to form volcanoes. Largely unexplored, the Gakkel Ridge runs underneath the Arctic Ocean. Scientists have discovered volcanic craters and evidence of surprisingly violent eruptions in the recent past. Antarctica, too, is home to volcanic activity. Ross Island, located in the Ross Sea, is composed of three extinct volcanoes (Mt. Bird, Mt. Terror, and Hut Point) and Mt. Erebus, Antarctica's most active volcano. Mt. Erebus is home to a permanent lava lake, or a large amount of molten lava contained in a crater. Only three volcanoes in the world have permanent lava lakes, making Mt. Erebus an important research site for scientists looking to better understand the internal plumbing system of volcanoes. However, its location permits only a six-


Science Content Knowledge week field season and its high altitude (3794 meters) is physically challenging.

However, seismic activity is associated with eruptions of Mt. Erebus.

Mt. Erebus is also notable for its persistent low-level eruptive activity (with almost daily eruptions). While the volcano has had some history of violent activity, most eruptions are passive lava flows similar to the volcanoes of Hawaii.

RELATED RESOURCES Use these resources to learn more about erosion, volcanoes, earthquakes, and plate tectonics and how these agents of change affect the polar regions.

EARTHQUAKES Seismic activity (earthquakes) is most often associated with tectonic plate boundaries. As plates slowly move, their jagged edges stick and suddenly slip, causing an earthquake. The Gakkel Ridge underneath the Arctic Ocean experiences small earthquakes that accompany the volcanic activity found in the area. Antarctica, which lies in the center of a tectonic plate, does not experience many earthquakes.

All About Glaciers http://nsidc.org/glaciers/ Learn how glaciers form, move, and shape the landscape. Katabatic Winds http://www.amnh.org/ education/resources/rfl/web/ antarctica/ s_katabatic_winds.html Basic information about the winds of Antarctica. National Geographic: Forces of Nature http:// environment.nationalgeographi c.com/environment/naturaldisasters/forces-of-nature.html

Explore volcanoes and earthquakes in this web site. Don’t miss the interactive activities that allow you to virtually erupt volcanoes and trigger earthquakes! Polar Discovery: Arctic Seafloor Expedition http://polardiscovery.whoi.edu/ expedition2/index.html During summer 2007, a team of scientists used autonomous underwater vehicles to explore the Gakkel Ridge. The Polar Discovery web site documents the expedition and provides background information, images, and video. Mt. Erebus Volcano Observatory http://erebus.nmt.edu/ Provides general information about Mt. Erebus, ongoing research, video, and a photo gallery. Mount. Erebus. Photo courtesy of Elisfanclub, Flickr.

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Science Content Knowledge National Science Education Standards: Science Content Standards The entire National Science Education Standards document can be read online or downloaded for free from the National Academies Press web site. The following excerpt was taken from Chapter 6, http:// books.nap.edu/openbook.php? record_id=4962&page=103. A study of changes in the Earth’s surface aligns with the Earth and Space Science, and the Science in Personal and Social Perspectives content standards of the National Science Education Standards: K-4 Earth and Space Science: Changes in the Earth and Sky • The surface of the earth changes. Some changes are due to slow processes, such as erosion and weathering,

and some changes are due to rapid processes, such as landslides, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes. 5-8 Earth and Space Science: Structure of the Earth System • The solid earth is layered with a lithosphere; hot, convecting mantle; and dense, metallic core. • Lithospheric plates on the scales of continents and oceans constantly move at rates of centimeters per year in response to movements in the mantle. Major geological events, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and mountain building, result from these plate motions. • Land forms are the result of a combination of constructive and destructive forces. Constructive forces include

crustal deformation, volcanic eruption, and deposition of sediment, while destructive forces include weathering and erosion. 5-8 Earth and Space Science: Earth’s History • The earth processes we see today, including erosion, movement of lithospheric plates, and changes in atmospheric composition, are similar to those that occurred in the past. • Fossils provide important evidence of how life and environmental conditions have changed. K-4 Science in Personal and Social Perspectives: Changes in Environments • Changes in environments can be natural or influenced by humans. Some changes are good, some are bad, and some are neither good nor bad. • Some environmental changes occur slowly, and others occur rapidly. 5-8 Science in Personal and Social Perspectives: Natural Hazards

BATTLESHIP3. Photo courtesy of Nate Biletnikoff, U.S. Antarctic Program, National Science Foundation.

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• Internal and external processes of the earth system cause natural hazards, events that change or destroy human and wildlife habitats, damage property, and harm or kill humans.


Literacy Content Knowledge Getting Students Engaged in Nonfiction Text By Tracey Allen and Clarissa Reeson If you walked into a third-grade classroom at Lincrest Elementary in Yuba City, California, you would see readers devouring nonfiction articles, jotting "reflection points" on sticky notes, and talking to each other about their reading and thinking. It's not uncommon to hear students enthusiastically telling other students about specific information they have gleaned from their reading or a strategy that helped them comprehend the selection. Questioning, making connections, and extracting facts are normal practices that occur in a reader's mind as he or she encounters a new nonfiction selection. For many students, however, these practices need to be explicitly taught to ensure that all students are able to implement the strategies that good readers use. As teachers, we have the opportunity to emphasize the importance of these strategies by modeling our own thinking while reading. We can share the

conversations that take place between the reader and the text. In addition to modeling our thinking while reading, we have created a template called F.A.C.T. It. F.A.C.T. It is an acronym for facts, asks, connections, and think time. We use this template for both guided and independent practice. It is a tool that reminds our students to think as they read. THE BASICS OF F.A.C.T. IT • F= Facts Nonfiction is full of facts that make reading exciting and interesting. We want students to notice the facts as they read and to realize facts are important in helping them understand the text. • A= Asks Questions help a reader move toward understanding. We encourage students to pay attention to the questions that pop into their minds as they are reading. Those questions enable readers to sift through the information and comprehend the text. • C=Connections We teachers must model the strategy of listening to our inner voice. Students need to understand that the inner voice helps readers make connections with their reading. • T=Think Time What is most important about the text? What did you learn?

What is the author's purpose for writing this selection? We have asked many students these questions over the years and the results are always interesting. It opens up a gateway into their thinking and understanding. As teachers, we must instill in our students the realization that reading is thinking. We've all experienced students who can decode any text but give us a blank stare when asked a question. We must equip our students with tools, like the F.A.C.T. It template, that will ensure that all of our students become successful readers. F.A.C.T. It http://onramp.nsdl.org/eserv/ onramp:1521/FACT_It.pdf This template aids students as they identify facts, ask questions, make connections, and reflect on text. Best for students in grades 2-5. F.A.C.T. It Literacy Set http://rs1.contentclips.com/ipy/ fwd/ipy_0812_set_lit_6017.html This set includes all the resources you need to help your students identify facts, ask questions, make connections, and reflect on text: a pdf version of this article, the F.A.C.T. It template, and illustrated and electronic book versions of our nonfiction article about Mt. Erebus.

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Feature Story The Heart of Erebus Stories for Students (and Teachers)! This nonfiction article is written for use with upper-elementary students (grades 4-5). Modified versions are available for students in grades K-1 and grades 2-3, or any student needing a simplified version. As always, consider the reading level and needs of your students when selecting a version for classroom use. At each grade level, the article is available in three forms Printable pdf files allow you to print this story in either text or a foldable book format. A partnership with Content Clips has allowed us to create electronic versions of the articles. Your students can read along as they listen to the text a wonderful way to support struggling readers! Reading strategy templates and related activities provide tips for integrating this story with your science and literacy instruction. Interested in other nonfiction articles for your students? Browse all twenty sets from the Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears collection on our Stories for Students page, http:// beyondpenguins.nsdl.org/ information.php?topic=stories!

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By Stephen Whitt Just off the continent of Antarctica is Ross Island. The tiny spot of land is home to a strange and lovely mountain named Erebus (er-uh-buh s). Near the mountain’s peak are some of the most unusual formations found anywhere on the planet. There are caves carved from ice, frozen columns of steam, and sharp, jagged, black rocks, poking up from beneath the ice. Smoke and steam fill the air. Sometimes the ground rumbles beneath your feet. Steaming, red-hot rocks might fly over your head and crash onto the ice all around you. As you might guess, this isn’t an ordinary mountain. Erebus is a volcano. It is the most-southern active volcano in the world! Scientists live and work near the volcano’s summit at a place called the Mount Erebus Volcano Observatory. Dr. Philip Kyle is one of these scientists. He wants to

understand what this volcano can tell us about Earth’s insides. LIVING AND WORKING ON A VOLCANO How do scientists like Dr. Kyle get to Erebus? First, they travel to Antarctica and a research station called McMurdo. From there, it isn’t that far to Ross Island and the volcano. While they are there, they live and work on the side of the volcano itself! The research station, called MEVO for short, is just two simple huts. One hut is for living and working. The other is used as a workshop and a place to store equipment. Helicopters and snowmobiles take scientists from the station most of the way to the crater rim. Then they walk the remaining short distance. But this short trip up the sides of Erebus transports the scientists into what must seem like a different world. WALKING ON THE EDGE OF A DIFFERENT WORLD First there are ice caves, carved out by hot steam escaping from vents in the volcano’s sides. Dr. Kyle says the caves are great places to explore and photograph, and they stay Mt. Erebus map. Illustration courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.


Feature Story surprisingly warm. Next are the towering pillars of frozen steam. Hot steam escaping directly into the air can freeze and create a sort of reverse icicle pointing toward the sky. Some of these steam pillars are enormous, and last for many years. But the real wonder is inside the volcano’s crater itself. There you’ll find a lake of molten rock! This lava lake sometimes spits out “lava bombs,” or rocks that whiz overhead when a pocket of gas suddenly bubbles up from inside the lake. AN UNUSUAL VOLCANO Erebus is unusual in many ways. The rocks found there are like rocks found near volcanoes in Africa. But this seems strange. How can a volcano in Antarctica be like volcanoes thousands of miles to the north? Volcanoes like Mt. Erebus and its African cousins arise from long cracks in the Earth called rifts. These cracks form when the land is stretched and torn by forces from below. Think of the way dough might stretch and even split if you pull it from two sides, and you’ll have a good picture of a rift in the Earth. The volcanoes in Africa arise from a place called the Great East Africa Rift Valley. Mt. Erebus rises out of a similar rift. However, this crack in the Earth’s crust is covered yearround by sea and ice.

THE FIERY HEART OF A VOLCANO It’s not just the African cousins that make Erebus unusual. The lava lake also makes Erebus unique, Dr. Kyle says. There are only a few volcanoes on Earth that have one. For the scientists, the lake is like a window into the Earth’s insides. The lake is made up of molten rock called magma. The lake bubbles and sometimes shoots out lava bombs. Scientists study the lake to learn about what’s happening inside the volcano. Deep below is a place called the magma chamber. Dr. Kyle calls it “the heart of the volcano.” It’s this heart that he most wants to understand. LIQUID ROCK AND SOLID ICE How can a place as cold as Antarctica have volcanoes that erupt? The heat of volcanoes has nothing to do with the weather. Instead, a volcano’s heat comes from deep inside the Earth. There the temperature is hot enough to melt rock. When the magma finds a crack or a weak spot in the Earth’s crust above, it pushes its way up to the surface. Weather doesn’t affect the volcano, but it does affect the scientists who work there. EREBUSCRATERAERIAL. Photo courtesy of Christopher Dean, U.S, Antarctic Program, National Science Foundation.

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Feature Story

Erebus ice cave. Photo courtesy of NOAA Photo Library, Wikimedia Commons.

Storms can cause 100-milesper-hour winds! The high altitude also affects the scientists. The higher you go in the atmosphere, the thinner the air gets. This makes it harder to breathe and can even make you sick. The scientists deal with this by moving up the volcano in stages. They spend several days at a lower camp and then slowly move higher and higher. This gives their bodies time to adjust to the conditions. Even though it is a hard place to work, Dr. Kyle is looking forward to the next field season. It will be his 37th on the mountain! He’s most excited about a new way of “looking” inside the volcano using explosions. The explosions create waves that travel through the mountain and bounce off whatever might be inside. It’s a little like the sound waves bats

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and dolphins use to find objects in the air and water. The scientists hope that this will help them “see” inside the magma chamber. It would give Dr. Kyle his first real look into the heart of Erebus. GLOSSARY altitude - the height above sea level magma - melted rock beneath the Earth’s surface rift - a large crack in the Earth's surface that forms when the land is stretched and torn transport - to move from one place to another unusual - not ordinary

READING STRATEGY TEMPLATES This article provides an opportunity for students in grades 2-5 to practice identifying facts, asking questions, making connections, and reflecting with content text. The following template can be used in conjunction with "The Heart of Erebus" and "Mt. Erebus: A Surprising Volcano." For more information about this strategy, please see "Engaging Students in Nonfiction Text," on page 9. F.A.C.T. It http://onramp.nsdl.org/eserv/ onramp:1521/FACT_It.pdf This template aids students as they identify facts, ask questions, make connections, and reflect on text. Best for students in grades 2-5. RELATED ACTIVITIES Modeling Volcanoes http://onramp.nsdl.org/eserv/ onramp:1470/ Explosive_or_Effusive.pdf Models volcano formation using gelatin and colored water. Explosive or Effusive? http://onramp.nsdl.org/eserv/ onramp:1470/ Explosive_or_Effusive.pdf Students investigate why some volcanoes erupt explosively while others have passive lava flows.


Misconceptions Common Misconceptions About Weathering, Erosion, Volcanoes, and Earthquakes

Once formed, misconceptions can be tenacious - persisting even in the face of discrepant events or careful instruction. Research has documented that students may be able to provide the "correct" answer in science class yet still not abandon their previously formed idea.

By Jessica Fries-Gaither

Even though targeting student misconceptions is difficult, teachers should be cognizant of their students' beliefs before, during, and after instruction. Formative assessment can provide insight and guidance for planning lessons and meeting student needs.

Earth science is a particularly difficult branch of science for elementary students. Processes such as weathering and erosion happen on a long time scale, making them difficult to visualize. Students can certainly see the effects of weathering and erosion, but observing the processes themselves is more difficult. Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes are more tangible, but their cause is rooted in the theory of plate tectonics, a concept not taught until the middle school years.

Antarctica: Ice Cave. Photo courtesy of Elisfanclub, Flickr.

The long period of time and large scale on which these processes occur lend themselves to many misconceptions. These misconceptions may form as individuals attempt to make sense of the natural world, or as a result of the difference between scientific and everyday language. In other cases, misconceptions may actually form or be strengthened as a result of instruction.

In this article, we discuss some common misconceptions about weathering and erosion, volcanoes, and earthquakes. We also provide tools for formative assessment and ideas for teaching the correct scientific concepts. MISCONCEPTIONS Misconceptions about Weathering and Erosion Students may hold many misconceptions about erosion, including: • Rocks do not change. • Weathering and erosion are essentially the same thing. The two words can be used interchangeably. • Erosion happens quickly. • Erosion is always bad.

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Misconceptions

GLACIERSWRIGHTVALLEY. Photo courtesy of Dave Haney, U.S, Antarctic Program, National Science Foundation.

Students tend to view the earth as static, stable, and unchanging. They often have difficulty believing that rocks can change or be worn down through the process of weathering. Students also tend to confuse weathering (the physical or chemical breakdown of rock) with erosion (the process of transporting sediments). Even once students understand the concepts of weathering and erosion, they tend to have difficulty conceptualizing the long time frames needed for these processes to occur. Many science lessons focus on the negative aspects of erosion (soil loss, ecosystem destruction, sediment buildup in water sources) and lead students to believe that erosion is always bad. However, teachers should stress that erosion does have positive aspects as well. Delta

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Erosion from wind. Photo courtesy of Thomas Wilken, Wikimedia Commons.

areas, like the Mississippi and the Nile, were created by the deposition of eroded sediments carried downriver. Without erosion, these rich, fertile farming areas would not exist. Misconceptions about Volcanoes • Volcanoes are randomly located across the earth's surface. • Volcanoes are found only on land. • Volcanoes are found only in hot climates. • All volcanoes erupt violently. • Volcanoes only erupt straight up through the top vent. • If a volcano doesn't erupt for a hundred years, it's extinct. • If a volcano does not produce lava, it is not dangerous. Elementary students may believe that volcanoes are randomly scattered across the earth, when the majority are located along tectonic plate boundaries. "Ring

Volcano Koryakskiy. Photo courtesy of n0_mad, Flickr.

of Fire" is the name given to an area along the border of the Pacific Plate with a high concentration of volcanoes. The Pacific Northwest, Alaska's Aleutian Islands, and Japan are all located in the Ring of Fire. Volcanoes are found on land and under the ocean's surface, as well as in areas with cold climates (like Antarctica). Students may also believe that all volcanic eruptions are violent, but many are not. The levels of silica and dissolved gases in the magma determine whether a volcano erupts explosively or effusively. Magma and gas may escape through cracks and weak areas on the sides of the volcano in addition to the top vent. Baking soda and vinegar models, a staple of elementary school science, do not accurately model an eruption and could lead to the formation of misconceptions.


Misconceptions Students may also not understand that volcanoes can be inactive for long periods without being considered extinct. When volcanoes no longer have a lava supply, they are extinct, but it can be quite difficult for scientists to know if and when this is the case. For example, scientists are fairly certain that volcanoes of the Hawaiian Islands chain are extinct. Mount Vesuvius in Italy was believed to be extinct before erupting violently. The lifespan of a volcano can be measured in millions of years, so a volcano that has not erupted in thousands of years would most likely be classified as dormant, rather than extinct. Yellowstone Caldera in Yellowstone National Park hasn't erupted violently for approximately 640,000 years, but has had minor activity much more recently. Scientists thus do not consider Yellowstone Caldera to be extinct, but dormant. Finally, students may believe that volcanoes are only dangerous due to lava flows. In reality, pyroclastic flows, ash clouds, and mudflows can be extremely hazardous. Deadly mudflows (lahars) have occurred recently in Colombia and the Philippines, and the eruption of Mount St. Helens produced an ash cloud and landslides of ice, mud, and rock.

Misconceptions about Earthquakes • Earthquakes happen randomly across the earth's surface. • The ground opens up during an earthquake. As with volcanoes, students may believe that earthquakes happen in random locations across the earth. Most of the world's seismic activity is associated with tectonic plate boundaries and fault lines. While shallow crevasses may form during an earthquake due to landslides or ground failures, the ground does not "open up" along a fault line. If a fault opened up, there would be no friction and no earthquake! PROBING FOR STUDENT UNDERSTANDING Erosion Volumes 1, 2, and 3 of Uncovering Student Ideas in Science (NSTA Press) each contain 25 formative assessment probes to help teachers identify misconceptions. The first two volumes of this series contain several probes that relate to geologic concepts such as weathering and erosion. Related formative assessment probes in Volume 1 of Uncovering Student Ideas in Science:

• "Beach Sand" asks students to consider the origin of sand on a beach. It elicits ideas about weathering, erosion, deposition, and landforms. • "Mountain Age" asks students to determine the relative age of two mountains. It elicits ideas about the processes that affect the shape of mountains (weathering and erosion). Related formative assessment probes in Volume 2 of Uncovering Student Ideas in Science: • "Is it a Rock? (version 1)" asks students to decide whether a number of objects are rocks or not. It elicits student ideas about whether rocks come in many sizes and shapes, as well as their understanding of words such as boulder, gravel, and sand. • "Mountain Top Fossil" asks students to explain how a marine fossil could end up on the top of a mountain. It elicits ideas about mountain formation, including weathering and erosion. Volcanoes and Earthquakes We have followed the model used by Page Keeley and coauthors in the three volumes of Uncovering Student Ideas in Science (© 2005-2008 by NSTA Press) and created a similar probe to elicit students' ideas 15


Misconceptions about the location of volcanoes across the world. Where Are the Volcanoes? http://onramp.nsdl.org/eserv/ onramp:1472/ Where_are_the_volcanoes.pdf This probe, modeled (with permission from NSTA Press) after those found in Uncovering Student Ideas in Science, Volumes 1, 2, and 3, is designed to elicit student ideas about the locations of volcanoes across the world. The probe could easily be modified to be used with a study of earthquakes instead of volcanoes. TEACHING THE SCIENCE Weathering and Erosion When modeling erosion in the classroom, be sure to discuss the differences between the model and the actual processes at work. Stress that while students are able to see these changes happen relatively Osorno Volcano, Chile. Photo courtesy of Bitterroot, Flickr.

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quickly, the real processes of weathering and erosion take much longer. Many science lessons about erosion deal with the negative aspects and ask students to design solutions to prevent erosion. While these are often excellent activities, make sure to include positive aspects such as delta formation. Many elementary students study the Mississippi and Nile River deltas and learn about the fertile farmland. Why not connect the students' social studies curriculum to their scientific study of weathering and erosion? Volcanoes and Earthquakes Mapping and geography activities will help target student misconceptions about the location of volcanoes and earthquakes. Creating accurate models of volcanoes and conducting experiments to determine how lava chemistry affects eruptions will help

students understand that volcanoes erupt in many different ways. Finally, researching volcanoes around the world will give students a better understanding of the hazards of mudflows and ash clouds. NATIONAL SCIENCE EDUCATION STANDARDS Assessing and targeting student misconceptions about weathering and erosion, volcanoes, and earthquakes meets the Earth and Space Science Content Standard and Science in Personal and Social Perspectives Content Standard for grades K-4 and 5-8 of the National Science Education Standards. The entire National Science Education Standards document can be read online or downloaded for free from from the National Academies Press web site. Science Content Standards can be found in Chapter 6, http:// books.nap.edu/openbook.php? record_id=4962&page=103.


Across the Curriculum: Lessons Developing Map Skills Through Earth Science Activities By Jessica Fries-Gaither Teaching earth science concepts such as erosion, landforms, earthquakes, and volcanoes is a perfect time to help students develop map skills. Using a map

key, understanding map scale, or even learning about topographic maps are all possible through the integration of earth science and social studies. Pairing the two also helps students see the utility in learning to read and analyze a variety of maps. To make the connection even clearer, incorporate a field trip! Taking your students outdoors provides the opportunity to use maps in a real-world context and to view

RESOURCES The National Map (Grades K-5) http://nationalmap.gov/ The National Map is an online, interactive map service provided by the U.S. Geological Survey. Use this as a whole class resource to view a variety of data about the United States, including fault lines, real-time earthquakes, and volcanoes. Great with an interactive whiteboard! (See "Integrating Technology: Interactive Whiteboards" for more information on using this technology in the classroom at http:// beyondpenguins.nsdl.org/issue/column.php? date=December2008&departmentid=profession al&columnid=professional!technology.) Map Adventures (Grades K-2) http://egsc.usgs.gov/isb/pubs/teachers-packets/ mapadventures/ This seven-lesson unit introduces primary students to maps and how to understand and use them.

the landforms and formations caused by erosion. We’ve highlighted lessons, activities, and resources that ask students to use, compare, and analyze information from a variety of maps. Students in the primary grades are introduced to maps while upper-elementary students analyze maps and learn how topographic maps represent three-dimensional landforms.

Potato Topo (Grades 3-5) http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learning/teachers/ PotatoTopo.pdf Students use a potato to make a 3-D topographic map and understand how topography can be represented on a 1-D map. Topographic Salad-Tray Model (Grades 3-5) http://online.wr.usgs.gov/outreach/ topo_instructions.html Students start with a topographic map of a geographic feature (such as a mountain) and create a 3-D model. Earthquakes and Volcanoes (Grades 3-5) http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/ lessons/15/g35/earthquakes.html As students learn to read maps, it is important that they learn how to compare maps that show different types of information. This lesson asks them to compare maps of plate tectonics with population density maps and to analyze what these maps imply about the relationship between population and seismic hazards.

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Science & Literacy: Lessons Hands-on Science and Literacy Activities about Erosion, Volcanoes, and Earthquakes By Jessica Fries-Gaither Earth science concepts such as erosion, volcanoes, and earthquakes are best introduced through a combination of handson activity, children's literature, and multimedia resources. The slow, long-term process of erosion is difficult for students to

conceptualize, so creating models of erosion can help. But, since students may be unfamiliar with volcanoes and earthquakes, models of these are not always accurate or helpful. Children’s literature and multimedia resources, such as web sites and video clips, will help them picture the processes involved. We’ve highlighted lessons about the topics of erosion, glaciers and glacial erosion, volcanoes, and earthquakes. As always, we've included suggestions for integrating literacy skills into these

lessons. This month's Virtual Bookshelf (see page 21) and Feature Story (see page 9) provide additional resources for literacy integration. For each science lesson, we've included the appropriate National Science Education Standards. You can read the entire National Science Education Standards online for free or register to download the free PDF. The content standards are found in Chapter 6., http:// books.nap.edu/openbook.php? record_id=4962&page=103.

EROSION Big Rocks, Little Rocks (Grades K-1) http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learning/teachers/ BigRocks_LittleRocks.pdf Students simulate erosion with cookies to learn that erosion breaks rocks into smaller pieces. This lesson meets the following content standards of the National Science Education Standards: Science as Inquiry and Earth and Space Science. Our Ever Changing Earth (Grades K-5) http://geologyonline.museum.state.il.us/tools/ lessons/1.2/lesson.html This lesson, originally written for grade 1, is broken into two parts: an introduction to plate tectonics and a study of weathering and erosion. Part One, which models plate tectonics without using sophisticated vocabulary, is not included in the National Science Education Standards for the elementary grades. This portion of the lesson may be better suited for students in upper elementary 18

ROCKSCULPTURE6. Photo courtesy of Kristan Hutchison, United States Antarctic Program, National Science Foundation.

grades. Part Two, which involves modeling the various types of weathering and erosion, is appropriate for students in the primary grades. This lesson meets the following content standards of the National Science Education Standards: Science as Inquiry, Earth and Space Science, and Science in Personal and Social Perspectives. To integrate literacy skills into these two lessons, try the following:


Science & Literacy: Lessons Collaborating on a Class Book: Exploring Before-During-After Sequences (Grades K-2) http://readwritethink.org/lessons/ lesson_view.asp?id=415 Students and the teacher produce a class book through a group-writing activity, focusing on a basic before-during-after sequence of events. Though the lesson is written for the carving of a class jack-o-lantern, it could be customized for the topic of erosion and weathering. This lesson meets the following NCTE/IRA Standards: 1, 7, 12. Dig This! Erosion Investigation (Grades 3-5) http://www.cas.muohio.edu/scienceforohio/ Erosion/L.html This inquiry-based unit asks students to identify erosion problems at their school, investigate the different types of erosion, research erosion in depth, and work in teams to create proposed solutions to schoolyard erosion problems. This lesson meets the following content standards of the National Science Education Standards: Science as Inquiry, Earth and Space Science, and Science in Personal and Social Perspectives.

Glacially abraded rocks in western Norway. Photo courtesy of Siim Sepp, Wikimedia Commons.

Science as Inquiry, Earth and Space Science, and Science in Personal and Social Perspectives. To integrate literacy skills into these lessons, try the following:

Weathering and Erosion (Grades 3-5) http://geologyonline.museum.state.il.us/tools/ lessons/6.3/lesson.html Students will discover the effects and processes that may occur with each type of weathering and erosion. The lesson is designed for grades 5-6; minor modifications make it appropriate for students in grades 3-4. The lesson suggests that teachers connect the hands-on activities to pictures of weathering and erosion in the real world.

Questioning: A Comprehension Strategy for Small-Group Guided Reading (Grades 3-5) http://readwritethink.org/lessons/ lesson_view.asp?id=408 In this lesson, the teacher explains the difference between thin (factual) and thick (inferential) questions, and then models how to compose question webs by thinking aloud while reading. Students observe how to gather information about the topic and add it to question webs in the form of answers or additional questions. Students practice composing thin and thick questions by using question webs independently in small-group reading.

This lesson meets the following content standards of the National Science Education Standards:

This lesson meets the following NCTE/IRA Standards: 1, 3, 7, 11.

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Science & Literacy: Lessons GLACIERS AND GLACIAL EROSION These lessons focus primarily on glacial erosion. We've highlighted lessons on glacier formation and glacial movement in past issues. Straight to the Pole (Grades K-2) http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/ lessonplan.jsp?id=994 A whole-class demonstration with a large "glacier" (made with a small trash can as a mold) and a sand table. This lesson meets the following content standards of the National Science Education Standards: Earth and Space Science and Science in Personal and Social Perspectives. To integrate literacy skills into these lessons, try the following: Collaborating on a Class Book: Exploring Before-During-After Sequences (Grades K-2) http://readwritethink.org/lessons/ lesson_view.asp?id=415

Students and the teacher produce a class book through a group-writing activity, focusing on a basic before-during-after sequence of events. Though the lesson is written for the carving of a class jack-o-lantern, it could be customized for the topic of erosion and weathering. This lesson meets the following NCTE/IRA Standards: 1, 7, 12. Gliding Glaciers (Grades 3-5) http://geologyonline.museum.state.il.us/tools/ lessons/6.1/lesson.html Students will gain an understanding of how glaciers are formed, how they move, and the landforms they create. The lesson is designed for grades 5-6; minor modifications make it appropriate for students in grades 3-4. This lesson meets the following content standards of the National Science Education Standards: Science as Inquiry, Earth and Space Science, and Science in Personal and Social Perspectives. To integrate literacy skills into this lesson, try the following: Questioning: A Comprehension Strategy for Small-Group Guided Reading (Grades 3-5) http://readwritethink.org/lessons/ lesson_view.asp?id=408 In this lesson, the teacher explains the difference between thin (factual) and thick (inferential) questions, and then models how to compose question webs by thinking aloud while reading. Students observe how to gather information about the topic and add it to question webs in the form of answers or additional questions. Students practice composing thin and thick questions by using question webs independently in small-group reading.

LAKEFRYXELLCANADAGL. Photo courtesy of Dave Haney, United States Antarctic Program, National Science Foundation.

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This lesson meets the following NCTE/IRA Standards: 1, 3, 7, 11.


Science & Literacy: Lessons VOLCANOES The classic baking soda and vinegar activity is not an accurate representation of a volcanic eruption and can lead to the formation of misconceptions (for more information, please see "Common Misconceptions about Erosion, Volcanoes, and Earthquakes" on page 12). We've provided suggestions for introducing volcanoes as well as demonstrations that more accurately represent the processes at work in a volcanic eruption. Modeling Volcanoes http://onramp.nsdl.org/eserv/onramp:1471/ Modeling_Volcanoes.pdf Create a 3-D model of a volcano with gelatin and colored water. This lesson meets the following content standards of the National Science Education Standards: Science as Inquiry and Earth and Space Science. To integrate literacy skills into these lessons, try the following: Adventures in Nonfiction: A Guided Inquiry Journey (Grades K-2) http://readwritethink.org/lessons/ lesson_view.asp?id=183 These activities provide a foundation for using nonfiction resources for developing and answering questions about gathered information. This lesson can be used with a wide variety of content, including volcanoes. This lesson meets the following NCTE/IRA Standards: 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 12. Gelatin Volcanoes (Grades 3-5) http://www.spacegrant.hawaii.edu/class_acts/ GelVolTe.html An activity that teaches students how and why magma moves inside volcanoes. Colored water is injected into a clear gelatin cast.

Glacially abraded rocks in western Norway. Photo courtesy of Siim Sepp, Wikimedia Commons.

This lesson meets the following content standards of the National Science Education Standards: Science as Inquiry, Physical Science, and Earth and Space Science. Explosive or Effusive? (Grades 3-5) http://onramp.nsdl.org/eserv/onramp:1470/ Explosive_or_Effusive.pdf Why do some volcanoes erupt violently and others do not? In this activity, students will learn how lava chemistry affects the type of eruption. This lesson meets the following content standards of the National Science Education Standards: Science as Inquiry, Physical Science, and Earth and Space Science. Volcano Types (Grades 3-5) http://eosweb.larc.nasa.gov/EDDOCS/Aerosols/ Volcano_Types_Lesson.html Students learn about the three main types of volcanoes: cinder cone, composite, and shield.

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Science & Literacy: Lessons This lesson meets the following content standards of the National Science Education Standards: Science as Inquiry and Earth and Space Science.

expository texts focusing on cause and effect. Danger! Volcanoes by Seymour Simon is the featured book.

The Origin of Calderas and Craters (Grades 3-5) http://volcano.oregonstate.edu/education/ models/Caldera/Caldera.html Model the formation of calderas and craters.

This lesson meets the following NCTE/IRA standards: 1, 3, 5, 6, 11, 12.

This lesson meets the following content standards of the National Science Education Standards: Science as Inquiry, Physical Science, and Earth and Space Science. To integrate literacy skills into these lessons, try the following: Exploring Cause and Effect Using Expository Texts about Natural Disasters (Grades 3-5) http://www.readwritethink.org/lessons/ lesson_view.asp?id=925 This lesson helps third- through fifth-grade students explore the nature and structure of

What Happened? (Grades 3-5) http://www.education-world.com/a_lesson/ 00-2/lp2038.shtml Students explore legends people created to explain the phenomena of volcanoes - and write their own legends about volcanoes. This lesson meets the following NCTE/IRA standards: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 11, 12

EARTHQUAKES The Three Little Pigs in Earthquake Land (Grades K-2) http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/ lessons/15/gk2/threepigs.html This lesson teaches students some of the basics of earthquakes and volcanoes. It also asks them to think about how people living in cities and suburbs must plan ahead by constructing sturdy buildings and preparing their homes and themselves for the possibility of a natural disaster. This lesson meets the following content standards of the National Science Education Standards: Earth and Space Science and Science in Personal and Social Perspectives. To further integrate literacy skills into this lesson, try the following:

LAKEFRYXELLCANADAGL. Photo courtesy of Dave Haney, United States Antarctic Program, National Science Foundation.

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Adventures in Nonfiction: A Guided Inquiry Journey (Grades K-2) http://readwritethink.org/lessons/ lesson_view.asp?id=183 These activities provide a foundation for using nonfiction resources for developing and answering questions about gathered information.


Science & Literacy: Lessons This lesson can be used with a wide variety of content, including volcanoes. This lesson meets the following NCTE/IRA Standards: 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 12. Bigger Faults Make Bigger Earthquakes (Grades K-5) http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learning/teachers/ BigFaults_BigQuakes.pdf Students simulate faults of different sizes and learn that bigger faults produce bigger earthquakes. This lesson meets the following content standards of the National Science Education Standards: Science as Inquiry and Earth and Space Science. Fault Features (Grades K-5) http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learning/teachers/ FaultFeatures.pdf Create a model to demonstrate surface features of a fault. Teachers of primary grades could use this as a whole-class demonstration. This lesson meets the following content standards of the National Science Education Standards: Science as Inquiry and Earth and Space Science. Earthquakes on the Surface (Grades 3-5) (Grades K-5) http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learning/teachers/ EQonSurface.pdf Students use maps and images to identify the locations of faults. This lesson meets the following content standards of the National Science Education Standards: Science as Inquiry and Earth and Space Science. Earthshaking Events (Grades 3-5) http://www.blm.gov/education/00_resources/ articles/mojave/mojave02a.html#Anchor-40917 Students create a model of a seismograph and simulate an earthquake.

Hawaii Earthquake. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

This lesson meets the following content standards of the National Science Education Standards: Science as Inquiry and Earth and Space Science. To integrate literacy skills into these lessons, try the following: Pourquoi Stories: Creating Tales to Tell Why (Grades 3-5) http://readwritethink.org/lessons/ lesson_view.asp?id=324 In this lesson, students are introduced to pourquoi stories and the cultures in which they originated. Through varied readings, students recognize and discuss the style and elements of pourquoi stories. Working in cooperative groups, they then use these stories as a framework on which to write their own pourquoi stories. Final production is either a skit or an illustrated narration of each group's story. This lesson meets the following NCTE/IRA Standards: 1, 5, 6, 9, 11, 12.

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Off The Bookshelf Our Changing Earth: Virtual Bookshelf By Kate Hastings What do volcanoes have to do with Antarctica? That was my first question when I started working on this month's bookshelf. It's hard to imagine the hottest landform on earth located in the coldest region on earth, but there it is - Mount Erebus. The active volcano is located between the Scotia and

Antarctic tectonic plates in the southernmost portion of the Ring of Fire. Tectonic plates move slowly (at approximately the same speed as fingernails grow), but those few inches have great consequences. While elementary students aren't ready to study the mechanisms behind plate tectonics, they can appreciate the effects: earthquakes, volcanoes, and slowly drifting continents. Wind, water, and ice also play a role in changing and shaping

Earth's crust. Rock is broken down into sediments which are moved from place to place. Glaciers and the katabatic winds in Antarctica create unusual landforms in the polar regions. In this month's bookshelf, we've included books about erosion and glaciers, tectonics, earthquakes, and volcanoes, and of course, penguins and polar bears. As always, we focus primarily on nonfiction children's literature to help students develop vocabulary and important reading comprehension strategies.

EROSION AND GLACIERS Erosion: Changing Earth's Surface. Robin Koontz. 2007. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades 2-5. Volcanoes and earthquakes can change the surface of the earth in a few minutes or days, but erosion takes place each time it rains, each time an ocean wave crashes on a beach, and each time the wind blows across a desert. Glaciers also play a role in erosion by dragging and pushing soil, rocks, and even boulders over long distances. Glaciers. Larry Dane Brimner. 2000. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades 2-5. Who knew that tiny snowflakes could move mountains? They can over long periods of time. If snow does not melt, the layers eventually turn into huge ice 24

sheets. The pressure from the ice sheet's weight melts bottom layers, and the ice begins to move! This movement creates distinct landforms—horns, cirques, u-shaped valleys, and moraines. Photographs capture images of glaciers and each landform. Glaciers. Isaac Nadeau. 2006. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades 4-5. Glaciers have had a huge impact on the earth's landscapes. Throughout several ice ages, glaciers carved out valleys, flattened plains, and formed rivers and lakes as they melted. Today, glaciers only cover about 10 percent of the earth's surface. This book explains the anatomy of a glacier, different types of glaciers, how glaciers move, and the landforms they create.


Off The Bookshelf TECTONIC PLATES, EARTHQUAKES AND VOLCANOES Planet Earth/ Inside Out. Gail Gibbons. 1995. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades 2-4. In typical Gail Gibbons fashion, this book offers simple explanations of plate tectonics and the resulting volcanoes and earthquakes. Colorful diagrams and illustrations show the types of faults and a crosssection of a volcano. There is also a brief discussion of how Earth formed, Pangaea, fossils, and types of rocks and minerals. Earthshake: Poems From the Ground Up. Lisa Westberg Peters. 2003. Nonfiction poetry book. Recommended ages: Grades 3-6. Geology and descriptive language are married in this collection. “Continental Promises” is about Africa and South America saying goodbye as their tectonic plates carry them in different directions. “Wyoming Layer Cake” describes the spectacular sedimentary layers in the western United States. Illustrations complement the poems. Geology Rocks! 50 Hands-On Activities to Explore the Earth. Cindy Blobaum. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades 1-5. The chapter titled Quakin', Shakin' and Shapin' is filled with activities, facts, and diagrams to explain how our ever-changing earth works. A simple graham cracker and icing activity will help students understand faults. Create a seismograph with a rolling pin and a shoe box. Look at maps of volcanoes and earthquakes to discover that they go hand-in-hand.

Earth-Shaking Science Projects About Planet Earth. Robert Gardner. 2008. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades 2-5. If you are tired of building volcanoes with baking soda and vinegar, you'll love this book. Chapters 5-9 are filled with easy demonstrations that explain Pangaea's separation, why plates move apart, what happens when plates come together, and how damage is effected in various locations related to the epicenter. Why Do Volcanoes Blow Their Tops? Questions and Answers about Volcanoes and Earthquakes. Melvin and Gilda Berger. 1999. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades 3-5. Your students have lots of questions about volcanoes and earthquakes—and this book has the answers! Can people use volcanoes to keep warm? (Answer: Yes!) Where is the most dangerous volcano today? (Answer: Mount Popocatepetl because of its proximity to Mexico City.) Do all earthquakes occur along faults? (Answer: No. Sometimes they occur in weak portions of a plate.) These facts will enrich your unit on earthquakes and volcanoes.

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Off The Bookshelf VOLCANOES Hill of Fire. Thomas P. Lewis. 1971. Nonfiction easy reader. Recommended ages: K-2. This book was featured on an episode of the Reading Rainbow television series. It is the story of a cinder cone volcano suddenly forming in the middle of a Mexican farmer's field. The simple text is interesting enough to read aloud or to be read by students in the first or second grade.

Volcanoes. Franklyn M. Branley. New edition 2008. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: K-3. Part of the Let’s-Read-and-FindOut-About-Science series. Simple text and bold illustrations tell of different types of volcanoes, how they form, and their effects on people and weather. This book would be perfect to pair with Hill of Fire because it mentions the cinder cone volcano in Paricutin, Mexico.

EARTHQUAKES Danger! Earthquakes. Seymour Simon. 2002. Nonfiction easy reader. Recommended ages: Grades 1-3. The photos really make this book. Page after page of damage caused by earthquakes shows the power of plates moving against each other. Earthquakes rarely last more than a minute—but their effects can be devastating. The text in this book will be easy enough for many students to read alone, and they will learn the difference between the Richter and Mercalli scales. Earthquakes: Earth's Mightiest Moments. David L. Harrison. 2004. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades K-2. Told in a picture book format, this story gives the most basic explanation for the composition of the earth, plate movement, and the resulting earthquakes and damage. Vivid illustrations make the book perfect for sharing. 26

Earthquake. Anne Rooney. 2006. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades 4-5. Part of the Nature's Fury series, this book gives a detailed explanation of earthquakes and plate tectonics. It explores different types of faults and the difference between surface and body waves. Social aspects of earthquakes are also discussed, such as location (cities versus countryside), rescuers, emergency relief, and rebuilding. Earthquakes. Paul P. Sipiera. 1998. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades 3-5. Six chapters show how our planet's composition relates to plate movement and earthquakes. The effects of quakes, such as structural damage, fires and tsunamis, are discussed along with technology that may help us predict their movement. This book is part of the True Book series.


Off The Bookshelf PENGUINS AND POLAR BEARS Baby Polar Bear. Aubrey Lang. 2008. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades K-3. Follow a typical polar bear family through the birth of cubs, walking from the interior to the sea ice, hunting for food, swimming lessons, and more. The pictures will make you want to cuddle with these soon-tobe giant (and dangerous) polar bears.

My Season With Penguins. Sophie Webb. 2000. Nonfiction journal. Recommended ages: Grades 4-5. Traveling to Antarctica to study penguins takes more than just a plane ride and a camera. Follow biologist Sophie Webb as she chooses cold weather clothing, attends survival school, and sets up a camp at Cape Royds (within view of Mount Erebus). Here she studies the Adelie penguins for two months. She explains methods for tagging, weighing and tracking penguins and shares the research questions her group hopes to answer during their six-year study.

Why Use Children’s Literature? Linking science instruction to children's literature has become increasingly popular in recent years for a variety of reasons: the literature connection motivates students, provokes interest, helps students connect scientific ideas to their personal experiences, accommodates children with different learning styles, and promotes critical thinking. Whatever the reason, we know that books about science can capture even the most reluctant readers and writers. Students are naturally drawn to the colorful photographs and layouts of nonfiction science texts. Using science books allow teachers to meet their reading and writing goals while filling a need to teach more science. Teachers can use books as a starting point for meaningful classroom discussions; some teachers even begin class by reading a poem or a picture book aloud, simply for the enjoyment of the literature. Some teachers project the book onto a screen so the class can read the text together. Picture books make wonderful writing prompts and can provoke good journal writing. Interdisciplinary thematic units can be broadened by use of children's literature. You’ll notice that most of our selected books are nonfiction. We believe that elementary students need exposure to this genre to set a compelling purpose for reading and to become familiar with the text structures used in expository and informational text. Reading nonfiction trade books also supplements scientific investigations and helps students connect hands-on experiences with abstract concepts. In other cases, the text provides valuable information that cannot be gained through hands-on experience. Finally, nonfiction books can serve as mentor texts, providing models after which students can pattern their own writing.

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Abo u t U s Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears is an online professional development magazine for elementary teachers. It prepares teachers to integrate high-quality science instruction with literacy teaching. The magazine is available for free at http://beyondpenguins.nsdl.org. Twenty thematic issues link polar science concepts to the scope and sequence of elementary science curricula. The result is a resource that includes issues devoted to day and night, seasons, plants and mammals, erosion, and other physical, earth and space, and life science concepts. Some issues are also interdisciplinary, focusing on polar explorers, the indigenous people of the Arctic, and the challenges of doing science in the polar regions. To browse the complete archive of issues, visit http://beyondpenguins.nsdl.org/archive.php. Other project features include a companion blog (http://expertvoices.nsdl.org/polar) about polar news and research, a polar photo gallery (http://beyondpenguins.nsdl.org/photogallery/index.php) and a podcast series (http://beyondpenguins.nsdl.org/podcast/index.php). Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears is funded by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0733024 and is produced by an interdisciplinary team from Ohio State University (OSU), College of Education and Human Ecology; the Ohio Resource Center (ORC) for Mathematics, Science, and Reading; the Byrd Polar Research Center; COSI (Center for Science and Industry) Columbus; the Upper Arlington Public Library (UAPL); and the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) Core Integration team at Cornell University and University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR).

Copyright August 2010. Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears is produced by an interdisciplinary team from Ohio State University (OSU), College of Education and Human Ecology; the Ohio Resource Center (ORC) for Mathematics, Science, and Reading; the Byrd Polar Research Center; COSI (Center for Science and Industry) Columbus; the Upper Arlington Public Library (UAPL); and the National Science Digital Library (NSDL). This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0733024. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. Content in this document is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Printed version layout and design by Margaux Baldridge, Office of Technology and Enhanced Learning, College of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University. For more information email: beyondpenguins@msteacher.org.

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Beyond Penguins: Earth's Changing Surface  

Earth's surface is always changing, and the polar regions are no exception. Glaciers slowly scour the landscape, while the fierce katabatic...

Beyond Penguins: Earth's Changing Surface  

Earth's surface is always changing, and the polar regions are no exception. Glaciers slowly scour the landscape, while the fierce katabatic...

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